“There’s one question I get asked a lot as a woman Trek Leader.
‘How do you trek when you are on your periods?’
What surprises people more is that my answer isn’t very complex.
I have been in the outdoors for about two years and I have learnt how to manage trekking along with my periods.
This is one of the many questions which people have about women in the outdoors.
Being a woman Trek Leader has evolved quite a bit in the past few years.
Earlier, when women used to come and work in this field, it used to be very on and off.
But now, things are different. When I come back from a trek at our basecamp, I see more than 1-2 women Trek Leaders around and I can’t explain how happy I feel!
The present ratio of male and female Trek Leaders at Indiahikes speaks a lot about the future of women in the outdoors.
The kind of culture and support we have here gives us the opportunity to grow exponentially.
Being a woman Trek Leader is never treated differently at Indiahikes. In fact, it’s always celebrated.
I have also realised the way you facilitate a trek has nothing to do with you being a man or a woman.
My first focus with every team I lead is to make a team, a team.
It’s very important for me to bring them together and respect each other’s presence around. Once that is established, everyone naturally tries to help each other move forward on the trek.
However, the mindset of some people who work along with us is still very conservative. They are not used to seeing women lead teams in the outdoors.
It’s a long journey to bring a shift in such mindsets but I feel we are on the right path.
I am saying this because, in my initial days as a Trek Leader, I used to hear this a lot - ‘Indiahikes has female Trek Leaders also. That’s very inspiring.’
I didn’t use to feel nice hearing that. Because I wanted more women to come up and take leadership roles in the outdoors as they take up a job in the city.
But now I hear them say that they have trekked with multiple female Trek Leaders.
Women in the outdoors are becoming as normal as men in the outdoors.
That’s the future we are headed towards and that’s the future I am hopeful about.”
- Ayushi Arora, Trek Leader at Indiahikes